Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Foreign Minister visits Macao and Hong Kong

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has completed his trip to Macao /Aomin/ and Hong Kong /Xianggang/, China's special administrative regions.

The Russian Foreign Minister held talks with Macao and Hong Kong Chief Executives Edmund Ho and Tung Che Hwa. This was the first-ever visit by the Russian Foreign Minister to Macao.

The sides discussed the development of bilateral trade and economic and investment cooperation, inter-regional ties and tourist exchange between Russian and the two Chinese special administrative regions.

Russia opened its General Consulate in Hong Kong in 1994. After Macao's annexation to China, the prerogative of the consulate was extended to Macao.

In 2001 the trade turnover between Russia and Hong Kong totalled 500 million dollars. According to RIA Novosti's data, Moscow and Hong Kong are to sign an agreement on mutual travels, which is to simplify the trips by Russian citizens to this region. The agreement implies, in particular, visa-free trips for official delegations and for ship and jet crews. Some 10 million Russians visit Hong Kong every year, with 2 million visiting Macao.

On leaving Macao, the Russian Foreign Minister will head for Brunei to participate in the Association of South-East Nations meeting.